29 Oct 2004

Parliamentary immunity of French Polynesia's Gaston Flosse at risk - report

7:08 am on 29 October 2004

The French newspaper, La Liberation, reports that the judiciary plans to seek the removal of the parliamentary immunity of Gaston Flosse, who is French Polynesia's member of the French senate and the territory's re-elected president.

The newspaper quotes sources as saying that the judge investigating the alleged abuse of public funds for so-called fictitious employees will hold off his request to the public prosecutor until the political tension in Tahiti has eased.

To proceed now, the report says, would be to add fuel to the fire.

The report comes a week after La Liberation revealed that the probe into the affair had been underway for year, with Mr Flosse confirming that such payments were made.

The paper says an investigation is continuing into the structure used by Mr Flosse to fund supporters in a bid to remain re-elected to the senate.

This comes as members of the French judicial service commission have arrived in Papeete to investigate a senior magistrate for alleged sexual harassment.